Press Release

Boeing TDRS Satellite for NASA Scheduled to Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2002
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A Boeing-built
Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), scheduled for launch on
March 8 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., will add to the
TDRS fleet’s capability to provide clear communications in the busy
radio environment of space.

The Boeing 601 satellite named TDRS-I is the second of three built
by Boeing Satellite Systems, a unit of The Boeing Co. for
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center of Greenbelt, Md. The launch is being
provided by International Launch Services on a Lockheed Martin-built
Atlas IIA rocket. The 40-minute launch window opens at 2:39 p.m. PST
(5:39 p.m. EST; 2239 GMT).

The trio of TDRS satellites will replenish and augment the current
TDRS fleet, which has served the space shuttle and other orbiting
spacecraft for almost two decades.

“These highly capable and flexible satellites will operate like a
switchboard in the sky,” said Jack Wormington, senior vice president
of programs for Boeing Satellite Systems.

“Once in place, the three next-generation TDRS satellites will
double the capacity of data transmission and will provide nearly
continuous communications links between Earth and space for the Space
Shuttle, the International Space Station and with dozens of unmanned
scientific satellites in low-earth orbit.”

The satellites relay large volumes of user satellite data —
including voice, video and scientific — from manned missions or
orbiting scientific spacecraft back to ground control centers. TDRS
supports spacecraft whose research targets range from the birth of
stars deep in distant galaxies to the subtleties of environmental
phenomena on Earth.

NASA plans to launch the last in the series, TDRS-J, in November
2002. TDRS-H was launched June 30, 2000. The satellites will be placed
in geosynchronous orbit in strategic locations above the Pacific and
Atlantic oceans.

Innovative folding antennas that meet NASA’s requirements for
reflectors with a large surface area, yet low weight can
simultaneously transmit and receive at S-band and either Ku- or
Ka-band, supporting dual independent two-way communication.

Boeing S&C, with headquarters in Seal Beach, is the world’s
largest space and communications company. A unit of The Boeing Co.,
S&C provides integrated solutions in launch services, human space
flight and exploration, missile defense, and information and

It is NASA’s largest contractor; a leading provider of space-based
communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile
defense; and a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers worldwide and
manufacturing operations throughout the United States and Australia.

Note to Editors: NASA TV will provide live commentary and TV
coverage of the TDRS-I launch on March 8 beginning 1.5 hours before
launch (approx. 4 p.m. EST). NASA TV coordinates are GE-2, transponder
9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with a frequency of 3880 Mhz; audio
at 6.8 Mhz. The launch coverage will be live through the launch and
separation. You are welcome to use the feed in your news broadcasts.

Photos available at: and

SpaceRef staff editor.